According to her newly-filed affidavit, Shelley Cuthbert only surrendered four dogs — not 10, as she previously told media — to theYukon government’s animal health unit Feb. 15. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

Shelley Cuthbert surrendered 4 dogs, not 10, to Yukon officials, says affidavit

An affidavit by the Tagish dog rescue owner says 6 dogs were returned to owners. All were euthanized

Tagish dog rescue owner Shelley Cuthbert only surrendered four dogs — not 10, as she previously told media — to the Yukon government’s animal health unit Feb. 15, according to her newly-filed affidavit.

The six other dogs were returned to their previous owners.

However, in the affidavit filed Feb. 27, Cuthbert emphasizes that all 10 dogs were still euthanized.

It’s the latest development in a years-long legal battle between Cuthbert and her neighbours in Tagish Estates, who last year won a nuisance lawsuit that resulted in an injunction requiring Cuthbert to reduce the dogs on her property from an estimated 60 to two.

Cuthbert is in the process of appealing the ruling and, in January, requested a stay on the injunction until her appeal is heard in May. A judge granted a partial stay later that month that instead requires Cuthbert to surrender 10 dogs a month on the 15th of every month to the animal health unit.

Cuthbert has since gone back to court to ask for that partial stay to be changed so she can “relocate” them instead.

In the affidavit, Cuthbert said that she surrendered four dogs to the animal health unit Feb. 15 and requested they be euthanized “mainly because of age/medical conditions/history of bites.” Photocopies of four surrender forms are attached to the affidavit as an exhibit. Three of the forms say that the dog is being surrendered because of a court order, that the dog is “non-adoptable” and that the owner requests euthanization. The fourth form states that the dog is a “personal pet” and that the owner is requesting euthanization due to “old age.”

“The previous owners of six dogs stepped up so I would not have to be the one to euthanize their dogs,” the affidavit says.

“I knew I would be breaching the order by not handing the six dogs to the animal health unit to be euthanized at my request as they don’t meet the criteria. But as part of being a human that understands the companionship of dogs with humans and how difficult it has been for these owners to surrender their dogs for whatever reason, I felt it was the right thing to do.”

The affidavit also states that Cuthbert has been able to “secure a temporary location to place the dogs.” Attached as an exhibit is what appears to be a letter by a Carcross/Tagish First Nation citizen stating that he is “allowing Ms. Cuthbert to house dogs on my land temporarily until such time as the appeal is heard.”

In written arguments also filed Feb. 27, Cuthbert says that the relocation would happen “weather permitting.”

The document also claimed that the judge who ordered the partial stay “erred” in his decision, arguing that Cuthbert’s neighbours are away for the winter and are not being inconvenienced by the rescue while relocating the dogs would be “very difficult.”

The arguments also claim that, besides the 10 dogs that were euthanized, Cuthbert has lost her business of providing dog daycare, boot camp and dogcatching services for Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

“The appellant has already suffered irreparable harm and is asking the courts to vary the order to prevent further harm,” it says.

In an interview, lawyer Graham Lang, who’s representing Cuthbert’s neighbours, said he will argue to have the partial stay kept in place.

“What we’re trying to avoid is a catastrophic situation in May where the respondents are successful in the appeal and are faced with removing 50 dogs from Ms. Cuthbert’s property,” he said. “What we’re trying to accomplish is the orderly and humane winding up of this operation. Ms. Cuthbert’s proposition that she temporarily store the dogs until May somewhere else isn’t going to work because come May, we’re still faced with 50 dogs.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

DogsShelley CuthbertYukon courts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Inside the courtroom in Whitehorse, Chief Electoral Officer Max Harvey, Vuntut Gwitchin returning officer Renee Charlie and Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Duncan open the box containing the names of the tied candidates. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Annie Blake elected as MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin after name draw

“I’m still feeling shocked that my name was drawn, I feel overwhelmed.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New COVID-19 case confirmed in rural Yukon community

An exposure notification has been issued for Andrea’s Restaurant in Watson Lake

Food trucks gather on Steele Street between Front and Second for the annual Street Eats Festival in Whitehorse on August 12, 2019. (Julien Gignac/Yukon News file)
May 1 could mark the start of the 2021 food truck season

Lottery for downtown sites set for April 28

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 16, 2021.… Continue reading

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is taking on the first all-woman expedition to Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team among mountaineers heading to Kluane National Park

One team will be exploring Mt. Logan while a second all-woman team aims for Mt. Lucania summit

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Most Read